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Developing an Eager Church

When you encourage initiative and equip the people, expect an energy surge.

Sandy called me with a simple request. "George, a friend of mine is in the hospital. Would you go and share some comforting words?"

I'm all for hospital visitation and helping a friend, but at that moment my ministerial priorities outweighed my ministerial guilt. Mustering up my courage and attempting to be as empathetic as possible, I said, "Sandy, my job is to equip you to do the ministry, not to do all the ministry myself. It is your job to visit your friend. There are three ground rules for hospital visitation: don't sit on the bed, don't stay too long, pray and read the Word with your friend before you leave. When you have done these things, call me back, and I'll share some more tips."

You can imagine what I felt when the conversation ended. All afternoon I wondered if I had done the right thing. Am I just being lazy? What am I getting paid for? Am I not a pastor? Don't pastors march hospital hallways every visiting hour?

But after a few hours, new thoughts began: I'm committed to the ...

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